This is awesome of a subterranean home in Anchorage, Alaska. It was built in 1982. (The same year my family moved there, interestingly enough!)

Some really awesome ideas, including using the slope of the hill to create built-in "skylights", and the earth itself as built-in insulation.

"In the mid-1970s, when the Isaacses bought the property, the house was a 650-square-foot basement. It was built into a steep hill that sloped down into a grove of tall spruce and birch trees to the banks of Fish Creek. The Isaacses wanted to remodel and expand their new place.

They expected to build up, on top of the basement, which was apparently the never-realized plan of the previous owner.

Then their friend, architect Pat McKittrick, came out for a look.

“He said, this is a great place for an earth shelter house,” said Jon Isaacs, a regional planner, using a term grew out of the environmental movement of the 1970s.

Marnie’s dad, a conservative lawyer in Philadelphia, thought it sounded like a hippie idea. But McKittrick pointed out the packed sand beneath the foundation, a stable soil that would also be good for drainage. He built a cardboard model to show Jon and Marnie."

A 1982 Anchorage Daily News story described a complex feat, with block construction and walls waterproofed with a special rubberized asphalt developed in part by the University of Minnesota. Five layers of laminated plywood panels were applied to the exposed walls of the house and the roof, and the builders tested it with a garden house to make sure it didn’t leak. There was a lot of careful digging to save the trees, Marnie Isaacs said."

Source: adn.com/alaska-life/2019/08/11

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